Estimate yields by weight for corn, measure for soybeans

The harvest is upon us!

According to the September 21 edition of the USDA Crop and Weather Bulletin, we are ahead of the crop maturation of 2020.

Of the fields observed and reported, 49% of the corn is mature and 3% has been harvested, compared to 28% and 1% for the same period last year.

Soybeans have a lower margin of difference, with 59% of fields losing their leaves and 2% harvested compared to 51% and 2% for 2020.

These metrics are released every Tuesday, so I’m delighted to see today’s report.

Silage hashing is well advanced statewide and many farms are already completed (pardon the pun). Variable planting dates and hybrids lead to different harvest dates, don’t worry. If you still have corn silage on the crop, you can do a quick estimate of the yield while checking the fields.

If the cobs are not well developed, each foot of the corn plant translates to about 1 ton of silage per acre. When the ears are well developed, you can estimate the silage yield from the grain yield. Drought-stressed corn will give about 1 ton of silage per 5 bushels of grain, while unstressed corn (over 100 bushels of grain per acre) will give about 1 ton of silage per 7.5 or 8.0 bushels of grain.

There are several ways to estimate grain yield

The first method (and usually the most accurate, according to the University of Wisconsin) is the ear weight method. This is best done when the corn has reached the black layer stage.

For corn in 30-inch rows, select a 17-foot, 5-inch section in which to count plants; it is 1 / 1000th of an acre. Collect one in five ears and average their weights. Shell the collected ears for a moisture test. Of the:

  1. Multiply the number of ears by their average weight
  2. Multiply the average grain moisture by 1.411.
  3. Add 46.2 to the result of step 2
  4. Divide the result from step 1 by the result from step 3
  5. Multiply the result from Step 4 by 1,000 for an estimate of a full acre

The soybean yield estimates are a little different. Depending on the row spacing, you may need to measure different field lengths. For 7.5-inch row spacing you will need to measure 69 feet, 8 inches and 15-inch row spacing requires 34 feet 10 inches.

Count the number of plants in your designated section. Of the:

  1. Randomly select 10 plants from this stretch. Count the number of pods on each plant, making sure to only count the pods with at least 1 seed. Divide the total number of pods by 10 to calculate an average number of pods per plant.
  2. Pick 10 of these pods at random. Count the total number of seeds and divide by 10 to calculate an average number of seeds per pod.
  3. Assume 3000 seeds per pound. If the seeds are small, assume 3,500 seeds per pound.

Calculate the bushels per acre with the following equation:

  • Bushels = [(plants/1,000th acre) x (pods/plant) x (seeds/pod)] / [(seeds/pound) x 0.06]

Remember that equations and protocols are only estimates of what your fields will give.

You can use these values ​​for rough estimates of the harvest, but only time and harvest will indicate the true yield.

Events to come

A composting of livestock mortality The course will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday at the OARDC Sheep Facility, 5651 Fredricksburg Road, Wooster. Composting animal wastes is an easy and economically viable way to manage mortalities, but requires certification in the state of Ohio.

This is a unique certification for the composting of all animal species. The cost to attend is $ 10. Call 330-264-8722 to register.

Ohio Sheep Day will take place the next day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the same OARDC sheep facility. OSIA, OSWP, and the Ohio State Extension have put together a wonderful program on alternatives to fall grazing and lambing. The cost is $ 20 for OSIA members and $ 30 for non-members. Please visit to confirm your attendance.

Haley Zynda is an Agricultural Extension and Natural Resources Educator at OSU and can be reached at 330-264-8722.

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